Menstrual cramps may be accompanied by backache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. Sometimes, distress is severe enough to leave women debilitated for the first one to three days of their periods.

To relieve menstrual cramps:
• Drink chamomile or mint tea.
• Whenever possible, lie on your back, supporting your knees with a pillow.
• Hold a heating pad or hot-water bottle on your abdomen.
• Gently massage your abdomen.
• Do mild exercises like stretching, walking, or biking.
• Take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other over-the-counter medication formulated
for relief of menstrual discomfort.

If these measures don’t alleviate pain – or a heavy schedule prevents you from crawling into bed with a hot-water bottle for three days a month – see your doctor. He or she may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines or other medication to help menstrual pain.

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